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Asperger's Children

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   9.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 07/03/2018

Asperger's Children

The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684411740
Digital Download ISBN:9781684411757


Asperger's Children is a groundbreaking exploration of the chilling history behind an increasingly common diagnosis.

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Product Description

In 1930s and 1940s Vienna, child psychiatrist Hans Asperger sought to define autism as a diagnostic category, aiming to treat those children, usually boys, he deemed capable of participating fully in society. Depicted as a compassionate and devoted researcher, Asperger was in fact deeply influenced by Nazi psychiatry. Although he did offer individualized care to children he deemed promising, he also prescribed harsh institutionalization and even transfer to Spiegelgrund, one of the Reich's deadliest killing centers, for children with greater disabilities, who, he held, could not integrate into the community.

With sensitivity and passion, Edith Sheffer's scrupulous research reveals the heartbreaking voices and experiences of many of these children, while also illuminating a Nazi regime obsessed with sorting the population into categories, cataloging people by race, heredity, politics, religion, sexuality, criminality, and biological defects―labels that became the basis of either rehabilitation or persecution and extermination.


"A revelatory, haunting biography of a gifted practitioner who chose to fall in line with the Nazi regime and the farreaching consequences of that choice, for his own patients and for those still using and being labeled with the diagnostic concepts he originated." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"A compelling picture of the evils of the Nazi regime and of the perversion of Nazi psychiatry." —Kirkus Reviews

"It's hard to believe that anyone will want to identify with Asperger syndrome after reading Sheffer's extremely disturbing but very lucid book." —The Guardian

Author Bio

Edith Sheffer is a historian and senior fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of the prize-winning Burned Bridge: How East and West Germans Made the Iron Curtain.